The Top 7 Salvador Dalí Documentaries

While searching the Web, I found most articles on Dalí documentaries were about a single doc: 2018 “Salvador Dali: In Search of Immortality” from 2018.

That doc IS the most comprehensive. But there are other Dali gems out there.

Here’s my list ranked in order:

1) Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí… Master or madman? From the words of this 1969 documentary (65 minutes long), his mystique unfolds.

Narrated by the enigmatic Orson Welles, we dive into Dalí’s world. Port Lligat, Spain… His surreal abode, where art and life blur.

“DALÍ: Reality? Just a hint of my dreams.”

The artist… controversy-clad, sees himself superior. He’s eccentric, genius, and self-absorbed.

“DALÍ: Among all painters… I am the best.”

His work? Juxtaposed landscapes of time, dreams, and the grotesque. Details? His famous soft watches… “Persistence of Memory,” an iconic vision. His muse and eternal love, Gala… silent yet omnipresent.

A dive into the abstract, into the man behind melting clocks and distorted visions. His influences? The Mediterranean, Greek mythology… Layers upon layers.

And then… a twist. The documentary’s end? All presented with an avant-garde touch.

Watch this for free on YouTube by clicking the video above or

2) Arena: Salvador Dali

This doc (73 minutes) is from Season 12/Episode 1 of the British TV series called “Arena” — Directed by Adam Low.

Dive into Dali’s universe. From canvases to film reels, haute couture to penned lines… There are new clips, archived treasures, and candid conversations.

Listen to Dali’s voice, echoing from “My Secret Life” and “The Unspeakable Confessions.” A fresh lens on Dali. Don’t miss it!

The music is from another genius: Brian Eno. It’s his “Another Green World” album.Tracks like “Tristan und Isolde” and “A Picture From Life’s Other Side” add a symphonic journey to Dali’s life.

Watch the Arena Salvadore Dalí episode for free on YouTube by clicking the video above or this link:

3) Salvador Dalí: In Search of Immortality

“Salvador Dalí: In Search of Immortality” is the most comprehensive of the Dali docs.

The doc offers a three-part exploration of the artist, both the man and the legend.

Episode 1: Early Diaries (1904 – 1929) – Duration: 57:53
This initial episode immerses us in Dalí’s formative years, tracing his roots in Figueres, his childhood town. We journey with him through his studies at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, a pivotal period where he forges bonds with luminaries like Federico García Lorca and Luis Buñuel.

Episode 2: The Secret Life of Portlligat (1929 – 1982) – Duration: 59:19
This segment delves into Dalí’s transformative years, from his Parisian sojourn, establishing ties with icons like Miró, Picasso, and other surrealists, to his discovery of America. But central to this narrative is Portlligat, his haven and eternal landscape.

Episode 3: The Refuge of the Visible Woman (1982 – 1989) – Duration: 56:21
The final installment explores Dalí’s later years, casting a light on his enduring relationship with Gala, his muse and anchor. Her presence in his life brought the equilibrium essential for his rise to international acclaim.

Drawing from the rich archives of the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí and masterfully directed by David Pujol, this trilogy offers viewers a fresh and novel perspective on Dalí.

By dismantling the façade that Dalí himself meticulously constructed, the documentary presents him as a complex puzzle, waiting to be pieced together.

In essence, this documentary is not just for art enthusiasts but for anyone seeking to understand the enigma that is Dalí. .

Watch Salvador Dalí: In Search of Immortality for free on Kanopy (with library card or student ID) at or on Roku or Tubi (with ads) or on Film Movement (with subscription). See the deails here:

4) Salvador Dali: Master of Surrealism

“Master of Surrealism” from Biography shows Dali as the genius painter but yet still an enigma

You’ll witness the surreal canvas of his relationships: from his marriage to the enigmatic Gala (some say she was the the puppet master behind his fame) to his head-spinning interactions with celebrities like rock legend Alice Cooper.

Dali’s foray into the glitzy world of America in the 1930s is a whirlwind adventure filled with elaborate costume parties, collaborations with bigwigs like Hitchcock and Disney.

Dali has an unending thirst for attention.

The tale delves into Dali’s private world, revealing a voyeuristic side and penchant for organizing orgies, painting a “living tableau”.

And then there’s Gala, his muse for over five decades, who wasn’t just the brains behind the man, but also a power player who fiercely guarded her precious creation.

Tidbits from notable figures such as Amanda Lear and Ultraviolet add layers to the tale. Yet, amidst all the flamboyance and eccentricity, we’re reminded that perhaps Dali’s most surreal creation was himself.

Watch Salvadore Dali: Master of Surrealism for free on YouTube by clicking the video above or here:

5) The Dali Dimension

Directed by Joan Ubeda , this 2004 doc paints Salvador Dali as more than an artist. It’s 75 minutes of his marriage of science and surrealism.

Dali, once said, “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.” The doc unravels his psyche,His friendship with Einstein, Freud’s influence – is in there too.

Memorable moment? Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” discussion. It’s like a dance between magic and physics .

Watch The Daili Dimension for free on YouTube at

6) Dalí in New York

Jack Bond’s 1965 documentary “Dalí in New York” is about Salvador Dalí’s New York visit of the same year.

Bond teamed up with Dalí to create scenes only the maestro could imagine: think “manifestations” with plaster casts, a thousand ants, and a staggering one million dollars in cash.

The film’s dynamism isn’t just limited to Dali’s antics. When Dalí confronts feminist writer Jane Arden, tension escalates. Their electric exchange?

“You are my Slave! I am not your slave. Everybody is my slave.”

Dali reminisces about his interaction with Freud, terming it “The last human relationship ever.”

His profound declaration about his wife, Gala: ‘But for Gala, I would be lying in a gutter somewhere covered with lice,” showcases his vulnerability.

Jim Desmond’s cinematography adds another layer, capturing Dalí painting alongside the tunes of Flamenco virtuoso Manitas de Plata.

Salvador Dali on “What’s My Line?”

Imagine a 1950s game show scene with Salvador Dalí as a guest. Well, it actually happened.

It’s a ten-minute clip from this era’s iconic What’s my line? show.

One particularly memorable moment referenced Dalí’s playful and confident response to a question about his talents, simply replying with a resounding “Yes.”

For many, seeing such a legendary figure like Dalí in a game show setting from the past felt surreal, further amplifying his mythical status.

Thanks for reading!

-Rob Kelly